What were your favourite cultural destinations in the itinerary?
Our guided tours of Buenos Aires and Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay were excellent.
We loved the museum in Santa Cruz, in Chile. The museum was brilliant with wonderful artifacts and the portrayal of the rescue of the 33 miners.
We also enjoyed watching the traditional dancing at the Santa Cruz harvest festival.
The BA Museum of Fine Arts was excellent, as was the visit to the cemetery in Recoleta and our trip to Boca. We also enjoyed the tango show in BA.
Our visit to the estancia in Argentina was really fabulous. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
What were your favourite natural destinations in the itinerary?
Patagonia was our favourite destination of the trip. We would love to go there again.
Salta was wonderful too.
We were very lucky in El Calafate because we saw the beginning of the collapse of the Perito Moreno Glacier cave.
Who were your guides? How did they perform?
The guides at the Remota Lodge Hotel, Gabriel and Brian, were excellent. Sadly, they intend to leave because they want to join their families in northern Chile. They had to study for a month and take an exam before they could become guides.
What struck me was how much they care about Patagonia and protecting it. There was no question about the history, flora and fauna of the region that they could not answer. They were careful to match our excursions to our abilities. They were charming and so were their drivers.
They also prepared delicious food for us on all of the excursions.
Paula, our guide in Buenos Aires, gave us a wonderful tour of the city. She was very well-informed and was able to answer our questions about the political as well as the economic and social history of the city.
She arranged our visit to the tango show and gave us lots of suggestions of how to spend our free day in Buenos Aires. A really great guide and a personable and delightful young woman.
Our guide in Uruguay – sorry, I can’t remember her name – was great . She gave us such an interesting account of Uruguay – it’s history, current situation and achievements.
I would have liked to have spent more time in Uruguay maybe to visit Fray Bentos, the city that produced the meat I remember eating in my childhood in northern Canada!
Our last guide in Argentina was Pablos who took us to Estancia El Ombu at San Antonio de Areco. Pablos was outstanding. On the bus he gave us a two-hour account of the history, politics, economy and realities of Argentina today, as well as telling us about his own life and the lives of the people on the estancia we were going to visit.
He was an outstanding guide and I would highly recommend you hire him for any future estancia excursions.
Which was your favourite accommodation and why?
The Remota Lodge hotel. Award winning design, luxurious bedrooms with bathroom, delicious food, great wine, delightful staff, wonderful spa, warm comfortable public rooms and stunning views. Fabulous place to stay.
They provided transfers from Punta Arenas and to catch the bus to from Puerto Natales to El Calafate.
The Legado Mitico in Salta was a lovely hotel. We were only there for one night and we would have like to stay longer. The staff were wonderful.
Which was your favourite restaurant / dish / drink? Did you lose or gain weight over the course of the holiday!?
Our favourite restaurant was the Remota Lodge restaurant. They have a great chef using local ingredients.
Our favourite drink was Pisco Sour, followed by the Torrentes we had in Cachi, Argentina, the grapes for which were grown at over 2,000 metres.
Our second favourite restaurant was in Recoleta, BA, where we ordered a parrillada.
We gained a little weight but nothing serious.
Did your itinerary involve any hiking? How would you rate it in terms of difficulty?
Our programme at Remota in Patagonia involved hiking. All of these were manageable, except for our last hike which was rated medium difficulty, but was more challenging than we had expected, because the weather was very inclement and we didn’t have the right clothing for it.
What was the most pointless item in your luggage!?
We packed for a 2-month journey around the world and kept our luggage to a max 23 kg. all items of clothing bar a few shirts and shorts, were used.
Perhaps we overstocked the First Aid kit.
What was/were your favourite natural encounter (eg. animal / bird / flora seen)?
All of the flora and fauna in Patagonia (Remota guides very knowledgeable), and we were lucky to see rhea and plenty of guanaco.
Also very lucky to be at Perito Moreno Glacier to witness the partial collapse of the ‘glacier cave’, which finally ruptured at 9.30 that night.
We saw fabulous displays of horsemanship at the estancia and really enjoyed riding the horses.
The flora on the drive to Cachi was breathtakingly beautiful as was the flora on the old jungle road back from San Salvador de Jujuy to Salta.
We also saw extraordinary geological formations. The striped mountains, the Salinas Grandes, Arrowhead Valley, the amazing red rock sculptures on the road from Cafayate to Salta.
Northern Argentina is a feast for the eyes.
Finally, if you could provide an overall summary of the holiday, we would be most grateful.
The itinerary was very well designed and we had a fabulous time.
We were blown away by Patagonia and want to return there. It would have been helpful to have had suggestions for places to eat in Salta, Purmamaca and Cachi, but that is a minor point.
Most of our guides were excellent.
Overall summary – wonderful holiday. 10 out of 10! Thank you!